Hindered Indexing

“I think housework is the reason most women go to the office.” ~Heloise Cruse

Last Friday, when I was supposed to be at work but was at home instead doing housework because I’d taken the day off, I tried to sever my right index finger from my body. In truth, “try” is not the most accurate of terms for what happened. Let’s go with “involuntary self mutilation”. I was washing dishes. There was a glass. It broke in my hand. Just call me She-Hulk. Or don’t.

My initial reaction was something akin to…

Are you kidding me?
Look at that.

…and not a word uttered aloud. No tears. No drama. I have had worse pain. Seriously.

I found some gauze and medical tape and proceeded to bandage my finger as tightly as possible. I’m right-handed, in case you were wondering, so the dressing… as affixed by my less dexterous left hand… could have been neater. And tighter.

Two hours later (Yeah, I know.) I changed the dressing and made the determination that I would have to make my way to the hospital emergency room. The blood. It was still flowing. Have you ever tried to sign ER admission paperwork with a less than capable dominant hand? It isn’t easy. But… after a gratefully short wait, a discussion with my nurse about how she sliced the top of her left index finger off while shaving (Home is dangerous!), a tetanus shot, abrupt ER doc who proceeded to pull the wound apart before telling me it looked as though it would knit itself just fine (Hence, no stitches. Bastard.), a much tighter pressure bandage, a bag full of supplies for future bandage changes and a $100 copay (Whew! Insurance.)… I left.

It should not need clarifying but the index finger, folks, is the one next to the thumb. It is not the “isolate by itself and point to the sky in anger or frustration” middle finger but the “Look mom! That person has five heads!” pointing finger (Hey, I would point too if I saw a person with five heads.). It’s been five days and I have learned a few things about how much I use this particular finger in every day life.

Typing is difficult. Writing with pen and paper is ridiculously hard. I’m managing though sometimes it is still rather painful.

Showers are, shall we say, entertaining… or they would be if anyone was watching me. It is easier to simply hold my right hand up over my head monkey style than to take the time to tie a glove or plastic bag over it. I have the basics covered. Hair washing, body washing, shaving… unless, of course, I manage to slice off the top of my left finger in the process… are all possible with only one hand.

Lids and caps are evil. I managed to get the cap off the lawnmower gas tank yesterday using only my right palm but I knew I could not get it tightened back on. When I instructed the teenager to proceed with mowing the lawn he paused and pointed. “Why isn’t the gas cap back on?” he inquired. “Because I’m bad at screwing things right now.” I stated with frustration and without clearly thinking that thought all the way through. Teenage laugh-snorting followed.

How do you hold a fork? I bet the index finger on your dominant hand is most likely involved.

Murphy’s Law: If you have a rather sensitive injury on any part of your hand then you will smack the injured area on things you didn’t realize could hurt you… repeatedly.

Drawers are not meant to be explored without being pulled out fully. Ditto for the bottom of a kid’s backpack.

Still, nothing is impossible. I manage just fine. The bandage is now between the joints as opposed to covering the finger for forced immobilization and the wound closely resembles a healing cut of average depth now as opposed to a gash. That’s a plus. Not to mention…

The kids have no choice but to do the dishes as I still can’t get the bandages or the healing wound wet. Win!

Now, anyone have a great scar story I can adopt? Something better than household chores?

I should have just gone to work… or found a way to fund a life of leisure.


  1. Super glue. In the future, use super glue to close the wound. It will sting like hell for a few minutes, umm seconds, but it is better than a bandaid. Promise.
    Tell people you fell and hit your finger on a door knob. :)

  2. Dude. Pole sana!

    I broke my leg whilst walking. Or, at least that's how my until-the-cold-clammy-hand-of-death-rips-us-apart partner tells the story. Yes, there was a shin splint to begin with...but, yeah...I was basically just walking. That's why I run--walking's dangerous!

  3. OMG, Beth. Now you are a left-handed "pecker". Seriously, I'm so sorry you injured yourself. I wish you a speedy recovery. It's a good thing you can keep your sense of humor through this time. I'd be cussing six ways to Sunday.

  4. Jason ~ I actually looked for the super glue and found none in the house. I have boys. Who knows what they used it on?! I don't and I don't think I want to know.

    Dori ~ Asante sana, rafiki yangu! I should take up this running thing.

    Thumber ~ I like this "The Thumber" thing, by the way. I have to laugh... at everything... or I'll lose what remaining vestiges of brain power I have left. ;)

  5. Girl, OUCH.

    I felt a cold shiver reading about this. You're a trooper. The sight of blood would have sent me bolting for the door, covering everyone with the stuff and screaming for an ambulance.

    Drama queen? Moi?


"Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" ~Walt Whitman


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